Policy Memos

Back on Track?: Kyrgyz Authoritarianism after the Tulip Revolution

Policy Memo:


Publication Date:



The year 2010 marks the fifth anniversary of Kyrgyzstan’s Tulip Revolution. The events of March 2005 fostered hopes that Kyrgyzstan was on a fast track to democracy. Five years later, most observers of Kyrgyz politics consider that Kyrgyzstan’s post-Tulip Revolution regime has created a repressive authoritarian system in which the prospects for political liberalism further wane every day. For some, this represents a U-turn in the trajectory of Kyrgyz political development. Others argue that Kyrgyzstan has recently gotten back on track after a short deviation. This memo argues that political developments in Kyrgyzstan are being driven at least partially by three factors: the weakness of political ideals, the persisting importance of blood relations in Kyrgyz politics, and the unfortunate dynamics of international politics in Central Asia. [...]

More (PDF)

About the author

Marie Curie Fellow
University of St. Andrews, Scotland